The author of the popular Princess Diaries young adult books, Meg Cabot broke into adult fiction with She Went All the Way and The Boy Next Door. Cabotís newest adult book, Boy Meets Girl, follows nearly the same course as The Boy Next Door. Not only is the premise similar (two goody-goody single young people meet up and fall in love), but it also follows a non-traditional format. While The Boy Next Door was made up completely of emails sent back and forth between the characters, Boy Meets Girl incorporates not only emails but phone messages, notes, memos and, most annoyingly, journal entries by the main character. Unfortunately, while The Boy Next Door was fresh, original and altogether heartwarming, Boy Meets Girl comes across as a bad imitation of it.
Kate Mackenzie is a young woman from Kentucky who has moved to New York City with her best friend, Jen. After working as a social worker for a few years, Kate (with Jen's help) a job in human resources for the New York Journal, working under their awful boss, Amy, whom they refer to as the Tyrannical Office Despot (or T.O.D. for short). Shortly after scoring this position, Kate is told by her boyfriend of ten years, the wannabe rock star Dale, that he doesnít want to marry her. Kate moves out and takes up residence on Jenís couch. After an incident with someone she has to fire, Kate finds herself in the office of lawyer Mitch Hertzog and the attraction is instant. Unfortunately, Mitch is not only a lawyer (a group of people Kate has always hated), but he is also the brother of the T.O.D.ís fiancee, a man everyone in the office despises.
Kate soon realizes that Mitch is nothing like his brother or like any other lawyer she has ever met. He just might happen to be the nicest guy she has ever met, and he also might be just as attracted to her as she is to him. Before they can figure this out, though, office politics get in the way. Will Kate and Mitch ever find their way into each otherís arms?
The premise of this book relies heavily on the reader loving both Mitch and Kate. With Mitch, itís not much of a problem. He funny, interesting and gutsy (as well as being extremely attractive). Kate, however, is a different story. She seems so young throughout the book, and her journal entries are downright annoying. The format of The Boy Next Door worked so well because the reader was in love with the two main characters, and it was a joy to read their emails to each other. The premise of Boy Meets Girl just seems contrived and a knockoff of her last book, right down to the vapid model-type who befriends the main character and seems to think that the Olive Garden is fine gourmet dining.
Meg Cabot is obviously a talented author. Unfortunately, she seemed to think she could capitalize on the success of The Boy Next Door by writing a near carbon copy with different character names and a slightly altered plot. She might have pulled it off if Kate were more likeable, but unfortunately, Boy Meets Girl just ends up being a light read that is easily forgettable.